December 22, 2003

In Line Revelation

I'm not exactly sure how to write this. I know what I want to accomplish with this post though. So try and stay with me here.

Mere moments ago I was in a local store buying a last minute item for Christmas. I wasn't even close to the only one with the same idea, and that included a woman who ended up facing the line to the registers in front of me. In front of us - at least 50 people. I let her go ahead of me.

Her: Thank you. That's very kind.
Me: My pleasure. Although its not like it gets you too far.
Her: Well, its something, I guess. That's what you get for waiting till the last minute.
Me: So, those aren't for yourself?
Her: They're all how-to books. They're gifts. I can do anything.
Me: I never doubted that. But look at us. We had to pick the biggest heaviest books to buy and stand in line with.
Her: Yeah. Like I said, the price we pay.
Me: If you could indeed do anything, you'd figure out a way to get us to the front of the line.
Her: I'll work on that.
Me: You could always just clock all these people with those big books.
Her: Or yell "bomb."
Me: You'd end up with a whole list of problems if you tried that.
Her: You're probably right. But look over there. At least we can watch Finding Nemo while we're in line.
Me: You know, they've had that running constantly for the last three weeks.
Her: Luckily I've only been in here once in three weeks.
Me: I spend way too much time in here.
Her: Could be worse.
Me: I guess. I own too many books. But its better than a crack habit.
Her: True.

And after a few more minutes of conversation we were at the head of the line, we checked out, paid for our stuff and we went back into the world from which we came.

Do you ever meet people, have a casual conversation and wonder who it is you met, what they're like? Not in some romantic way, just curiosity. Maybe the point is that we each come into contact with different people everyday and somehow we never really get to know any of them.

When I started blogging six or seven months ago, I'm not sure I would have had this conversation. I'm sure I would have let this person ahead of me in line but after that, I'm pretty positive there would have been silence. And if not, I'd have been careful with what I said, watching the words I used, afraid of being me...or too much of me anyway. I believe that being open here, being me here, has allowed me to become more comfortable with who I am and what I have to say, in the real world. Its something I've noticed over the last month or so. And for that - the opportunity to share myself and the validation I receive - I'm thankful.

Posted by Chris at December 22, 2003 5:37 PM

I'm glad you got to talk to someone with a brain. I'm never that lucky.

Posted by: Jane at December 22, 2003 6:36 PM

Blogging does bring out the best in some of us (and yes, that includes you) and the worst in others.

Posted by: Krush at December 22, 2003 9:16 PM

I seem to attract those in-line conversations. And in-store conversations. And sitting on the bus conversations...hrmmm. Maybe I have an invisible "talk to me" sign over my head. Probably why I started blogging. Anyway, I am glad that this venue has allowed you to open up in the real world venue. I think we have more meaningful relationships, even with people we don't know, when we can do that.

Posted by: Alicia at December 22, 2003 10:40 PM

I'd been blogging to just my friends for several months. Not long after traffic started picking up to my site, I also noticed I was being a lot more open and talkative in person as well. One guest has been staying at the hotel since mid June, and I never said more than was required to him. Then a month or so ago, I just struck up conversation while he was at the desk. Now I talk to him regularly. I've noticed this with other people too. Rather then just say what I "have" to, I'll go out of my way to try and start a conversation. I've been more outgoing in general. I can't help but think that part of it is because being so honest and open on a blog and getting positive reception helped make me more confident about being myself in real life as well. So there is my novel on the subject! Great post by the way!

Posted by: Jaded Angel at December 22, 2003 11:20 PM

I know exactly what you mean. I'm the same way now, too. I never knew exactly what had influenced me, but now that you mentioned it - it's probably the internet/blogging!

Posted by: Jessica at December 23, 2003 7:28 AM

Chris, I have these conversations all the time. And every time I do, it makes me wonder about all of us...flowing around each other, teeming about like fishes in a pond. I wonder how it is we can sometimes be surrounded by other people and totally alone. So I like to talk to people sometimes as much for myself as for them.

Yes, blogging has brought out the verbose Rob. I'm not so sure that's a good thing sometimes! :)

Posted by: Rob at December 23, 2003 8:44 AM

I believe that being open here, being me here, has allowed me to become more comfortable with who I am and what I have to say, in the real world.

Ditto to that. Definitely.

Posted by: Marie at December 23, 2003 8:54 AM

Same here, Chris. The interaction I have with visitors to my blog, and also with the writers of my favorite blogs, has helped me open up tremendously with everyone. I also seem to attract conversation in public places... my boyfriend says it is because I have an *open* attitude, a friendly, kind, and innocent face... I went on an Amtrak trip to Montreal a few years ago. In the lounge car one evening, I was sitting and reading, and an elderly gentleman asked to sit down. We chatted, and he talked about WWII, and said he was on his way to Chicago to meet his fellow veterans from his division... VERY cool. We had a really wonderful time talking, and then we went our separate ways. The next morning I woke up in my aisle seat, and soon I saw him walking toward me carrying a tray... he handed it to me, smiled warmly, and thanked me heartily for the time we spent chatting, and he went back to his train car, not wanting to intrude on me. The tray had a hot cup of coffee with extra cream [he remembered how I like my coffee!], a cup of cold OJ, and a mini-bottle of vodka... HAHAHAHA!!! It was the highlight of my trip, and I had tears in my eyes!! I won't forget him.

Posted by: Dee at December 23, 2003 10:01 AM

I find myself talking to people as well as taking their photos. They are always curious as to what I'll do with it. I tell them I blog my life. Now they will be in it forever in one way or another.

Posted by: katherine at December 23, 2003 12:38 PM

I've always had conversations with strangers, but I used to try to avoid them more than I do now.

Maybe it has something to do with blogging? I don't know. I think it has more to do with me being bored while waiting in line.


Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2003 1:20 PM

such willingness for being open, must surely be rewarded in the universe. so great to know there are still some quality folks out there, when so often those we encounter, seem . . . . well most don't give me much hope about future generations. so here is to kind, smart people. Let's not let the losers take over our world. Kindness can convert those with hope left within.

Posted by: Pam at December 24, 2003 10:39 AM

A very interesting thought... I agree...

I believe that being open here, being me here, has allowed me to become more comfortable with who I am and what I have to say, in the real world.

Ditto to that. Definitely.

Posted by: Rachel in Alaska at December 27, 2003 4:35 PM